Organization for Tropical Studies | AUM

Organization for Tropical Studies

Auburn University at Montgomery and OTS

Auburn University at Montgomery (AUM) offers five programs in collaboration with the Organization for Tropical Studies (OTS). The programs build on over 50 years of excellence in OTS graduate education to offer innovative and rigorous learning experiences for undergraduate students interested in biology, global health, field ecology, and conservation.

Overview of Organization for Tropical Studies (OTS)

The Organization for Tropical Studies (OTS) is a nonprofit consortium of about fifty universities, colleges, and research institutions worldwide. Founded in 1963, OTS’ mission is to provide leadership in education, research, and the responsible use of natural resources in the tropics.  OTS has operations in three countries and research stations and education programs in Costa Rica and South Africa. For the last half century, OTS has been the world’s leading institution in the study of tropical biology, with more than 360 courses in tropical ecology, conservation and global health and over 8000 students trained, including many of the world’s leading tropical ecologists. Our purpose is to sustain our tropical ecosystems by driving scientific discovery and knowledge, by enriching human perception of nature and by enhancing worldwide policy actions in the tropics.

OTS offers programs to immerse students in learning and research that will impact the future of the tropics. OTS owns and operates 3 field stations in Costa Rica: La Selva Research Station, a Caribbean influenced lowland tropical rainforest; Las Cruces Research Station on the Pacific slope in a mid-elevation pre-montane wet forest; and Palo Verde Research Station inside the Palo Verde National Park in an endangered tropical dry forest. Our newly constructed research station in Kruger National Park, South Africa offers students a unique opportunity to engage in African Ecology.


Organization for Tropical Studies


Undergraduate Programs

Our programs offer a comprehensive study into field biology, ecology, and global health in a diversity of community settings and ecosystems ranging from lowland tropical forests to African savannas. In all of our programs you can expect to become part of an international, multicultural community, and the relationships you build will last throughout your life.  Diversity – biodiversity, cultural diversity, diversity of thought  – are at the heart of OTS. Studying with us will stretch your mind and present you with exciting new possibilities. Please see the undergraduate brochure here.

OTS 2018-19 Brochure

** Please Note: The Global Health in an Interconnected World in Costa Rica semester program has been removed from the course catalog.


Scholarship Information

OTS is committed to providing opportunities to all eligible students interested in participating in our programs. OTS makes every effort possible to ensure that financial obstacles are not the primary reason a qualified student cannot participate in one of our programs.

Tropical Studies Scholarships


Requirements for Applying

In order to apply to any AUM/OTS program, you must:

  • Be at least 18 years old by the program’s start date
  • Be in good standing at your college/university
  • Have at least a 2.7 GPA


Deadlines for Applying

SPRING: November 1
FALL: April 1
SUMMER: March 1

Please note that OTS has a rolling admissions policy and programs may fill before these deadlines. APPLY EARLY!!

Study Abroad students on bridge